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Annual Sefton In Mind campaign launched to mark World Suicide Prevention Day

Sefton In Mind LogoIn the past two years, we’ve seen the power of hope in action and the need for connection and communication has been more vital than ever.  Friday 10th September is World Suicide Prevention Day and the start of the annual Sefton In Mind campaign. This year’s theme is reflection – encouraging everyone to remember our role in growing positive mental health and wellbeing, and highlighting the importance of communities working together to help people through what has been exceptionally difficult time.

The global pandemic has impacted all areas of our lives including our mental health, which may continue for years to come. With many aspects of life returning to their pre-pandemic state – some people may find the lifting of restrictions and opening up of other areas of life hard to navigate.

Jan Campbell, Health and Social Care Officer at Sefton CVS said:

Reflection is an important process in helping us to develop a deeper understanding of why we feel what we feel. Through this process we learn and grow stronger. If we all take time to reflect on what we can do as individuals for your own wellbeing or to help others, that could make a huge difference. Suicide is preventable and small actions, like just asking “how are you?“ can make a big difference. Supporting activity in your local community is a great way of help others. There are many opportunities available throughout Sefton to get involved in activities that support people who are currently struggling.”

Health partners in Sefton have witnessed a considerable rise in demand for early intervention and prevention services – but we still have some way to go. A local person who had attempted to take their own life said:

“It’s not always easy, particularly if you feel you reached a point where hope has dissolved and lost its past meaning. So, I do a few things when I’m not feeling hope which helps me turn that corner and starts chipping away at that dark cloud overhead.”

Helping your local community and exploring the mental health services available to everyone is a good way of safeguarding your mental health and that of those people you care about.

Practical ways to boost your mood:

  • Physical Exercise. However you’re feeling inside, any form of physical exercise that you are able to do (taking yourself out for a walk) will release  endorphins – energising both the brain and the body.
  • Identify your triggers: Is there something in your current lifestyle that is adding to your low mood? Think about your diet, sleep patterns or alcohol consumption –  these can all have an impact on your mood.
  • Get a sleep routine: There are lots of relaxation apps to help you cultivate good sleeping habits – limiting your phone time before bed can help with sleeping patterns
  • Be solution-focused: If something is bothering you – ask yourself what can be done about it? Do you need any help in making those changes?
  • Talk to someone: Even if you don’t feel you can share with family or friends, there is always someone to talk to, a number to call

Taking any of these small steps will have a positive impact on your mental health.

Dr Rory McGill, Consultant in Public Health, said:

“Sefton in Mind this year emphasises the importance of connecting with ourselves. The pandemic has been incredibly challenging for everyone, so it is important that we take time to reflect on our own mental health and how much we have all endured and come together in Sefton to support each other through such unprecedented times.”

For more information about local support please visit

Sefton’s SEND Local Offer Website Refreshed

Local Offer GraphicSefton Council is excited to launch a brand-new redesign of an area of the website which informs parents, carers and children who have special education needs and/or disability (SEND), about local services available to them.

The Local Offer gives clear and accessible information about support services for local children and young people aged 25 and under and includes information about activities, projects, education, health, social care and much more.

The redesign of the Local Offer means it now has a fresh new look, making it fun to use with brighter colours, picture and logos. A new layout with eye catching icons also means that navigation is easier and clearer.

The project was coproduced by parents, carers and children whose opinions and experiences helped shape the new look and feel. Young people from Sefton’s Buddy Up, a mentoring and befriending service for young people with additional needs, formed a focus group so members could share their ideas.

Cllr Mhairi Doyle M.B.E, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Social Care said:

“We really want to make sure that the Local Offer Website is an invaluable tool for parents, carers and children living in Sefton. This redesign means that not only is it exciting and pleasing to the eye, but it is also easier to use and even more accessible.

“We value the opinions of our young people and their families and I am delighted that they have had the opportunity to give ideas and advice to improve a service which will benefit residents across the borough.”

Andrew Jennings, SEN & Inclusion Policy Development Officer at Sefton Council said;

“It’s been great working with Joe, Lewis, Joshua and Debra, who are our young people from Buddy Up. They’ve been able to tell us what they think of the Local Offer and how they wanted to see it improved.

“There is lots of really useful information on it, but they wanted to make it more colourful and eye catching so it’s more appealing for children and young people.

“They worked great as a team, researching, sharing their ideas with us, and giving feedback about the changes we had made.

“I’d also like to thank all of the parents and carers who worked with us, their input has been invaluable to this project. A special thanks must also go to Sefton Parent Carers Forum for their ideas and feedback.”

We would like to hear your views about the new Local Offer. Please click here to give feedback.

£159,000 to support parents across Sefton and the wider Liverpool City Region

Councils across the Liverpool City Region, including Sefton, are set to receive a pooled fund of £159,000 to support parents facing continued conflict in their relationships and prevent lasting impact on their children.

Designed to tackle the knock-on impact of parental conflict on children’s learning, relationships and future work life, the £4million Government funding pot will support 147 councils across England to develop targeted support for families.

From couples counselling to specialist learning tools, including videos and dedicated online advice, the initiatives will help parents learn how to recognise, de-escalate and solve conflict.

Frontline staff across Sefton and the rest of the City Region will get specialist training so they can spot the signs of parents who need help addressing frequent conflict. The funding will also be used to develop online tools and relationship programmes to help parents identify and resolve issues at home, delivered by Early Help Workers, Health Visitors, Social Workers and staff from voluntary sector agencies.

Wirral, Liverpool, Knowsley, Sefton, Halton, St. Helen’s and Cheshire East councils will receive the funding to work together as a cluster.

DWP Lords Minister Baroness Stedman-Scott said:

“Family dynamics are complicated, and the pandemic will have tested the strongest of couples. That’s why looking after the mental health of the whole family is vital to giving children the best start in life, and I want to ensure that help is available here across Liverpool City region and Sefton.

“This money means better support for more families to help ensure prolonged conflict doesn’t negatively impact children or their future.”

Studies show that frequent, intense and poorly resolved conflict can negatively impact children’s mental health. From their early social and emotional development to school grades, with lasting impact on their job prospects.

The programme is designed to resolve parental conflict, not domestic abuse. Those in abusive relationships will instead be referred to specialist support.

Welcoming children and young people back to school

Welcome back to school graphic

Margaret Jones, Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health, has written to parents and guardians across the Borough to remind them about the arrangements in place for returning to school.

In her letter she explained that before the the start of term, each Sefton school has completed a risk assessment and identified specific measures for their settings.

Sefton’s schools will be following the national guidance. This means ‘pupil bubbles’ and social distancing/mixing measures have been removed and pupils are no longer be required to wear face coverings in school, although it is recommended they be worn in crowded and enclosed places.

Regular hand washing, personal hygiene and ventilation is also being recommended to help stop the spread of COVID-19.  Should case numbers in a school or educational setting rise substantially, some control measures need to be temporarily reintroduced.

Although NHS Test & Trace are now responsible for contact tracing of all positive cases, if a child or young person tests positive for COVID-19, their school should still be informed.

Young people are no longer being advised to isolate if they are identified as a close contact of a COVID-19 case, but they will be asked to take a PCR test. If the PCR result is positive, the individual will then be required to self-isolate. All known contacts of positive COVID-19 cases should be reported to NHS Test & Trace, no matter vaccination status or age.

The letter reminds parents and guardians that if a child develops COVID-19 symptoms, they should book an appointment for them to have a PCR test and that the child should not come into school whilst they are awaiting the test results, even if they feel better. If their test result is negative, they can return to school. If their result is positive, they should continue to isolate and follow public health advice.

Appointments for PCR tests can be booked at  or by calling 119.

Mrs Jones’ letter also encourages parents, carers, secondary pupils and college students to take regular rapid lateral flow (LFD) tests. Taking LFD tests twice a week remains one of the most effective ways to reduce transmission of COVID-19.

Free rapid tests are available through schools, colleges and nurseries for everyone who attends them or works at them. Primary age pupils in Year 6 or below do not need to do testing if they do not have symptoms or are not a contact of a positive COVID-19 case.

She also reminds readers that vaccination remains the best protection against the virus and encourages everyone eligible to get both doses as soon as possible.

Margaret Jones said:

“We appreciate that this is a challenging time for parents, guardians, pupils and students as well as for teachers and school staff and Sefton Council would like to thank them for their support in keeping the Borough’s helping keep our schools open and safe.

“We also know it’s a lot to take in so we have set up some Frequently Asked Questions on our website which can be found at

“Finally, I like to wish all the Borough’s pupils and students every success in this coming academic year.”

Sefton LGBT+ Consultation Launched

Sefton LGBT+ Survey logo overlaid on a photo of the Another Place statues on Crosby BeachA borough-wide consultation into the experiences and needs of Sefton’s LGBT+ community has been launched.

The work aims to discover what it means to be LGBT+ in Sefton – if people feel safe, supported and seen – and what kind of events and services might enhance and improve their lives in the borough and beyond.

The consultation is being facilitated by LCR Pride Foundation, the Liverpool City Region’s LGBT+ organisation, and supported by Sefton Council. The foundation was established in 2019 with the founding mission to position all six boroughs as the most LGBT+ friendly region in the UK and improving the lives of LGBT+ living in and visiting the region.

Andi Herring, CEO of LCR Pride Foundation, said:

“The consultation has been launched in response to conversations that the Liverpool Echo has had with the local community and feedback we have received from LGBT+ people living in Sefton who want to bring the community together in a more local setting.

“As has been the case in other areas in the city region, the feedback was originally focused around ideas for a Pride festival in the borough. However, ongoing conversations have highlighted wider concerns in the community including lack of representation or space spaces for LGBT+ people, fear of discrimination and hate crime, and isolation.

“It is important that any event, service or initiative that is created to support and celebrate the LGBT+ community in Sefton is aligned with the needs, wants and concerns of that community. We want to encourage the community in Sefton to engage with the survey so they can have their say and shape the outcomes of the consultation.”

Once complete, the results of the consultation will be shared with the public and LCR Pride Foundation will work with the community, local organisations and Sefton Council to facilitate and develop action points raised.

A spokesperson for Sefton Council said:

“We welcome the launch of the LCR Pride Foundation’s Sefton LGBT+ Survey, and we’re keen to receive and review all of the responses once the survey has concluded.

“As a Borough for everyone, we’re committed to supporting our diverse communities, giving those who live, work, study and visit Sefton the opportunity to help us better understand their needs.

“Working in partnership with the LCR Pride Foundation, and other partners across the Borough, we want to play our part in making the Liverpool City Region the most LGBT+ friendly region in the UK, and we welcome any ideas in how we can achieve that goal. A key part of this is ensuring that our LGBT+ community not only feel safe and valued, but that they are visible.

“Additionally, we want to make it absolutely clear that hate crimes, whether it be physical, verbal or online, will not be tolerated in Sefton, and we work with a number of partners including Merseyside Police to eradicate hate crimes from our communities. We’d like to remind people that they can report a hate crime 24/7 by contacting the police, visiting, or anonymously via Stop Hate UK.”

If you identify as LGBT+ and live in Sefton, you can have your say. Simply go to and complete the survey by midnight on Thursday 30th September 2021.

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